Hydrogen News from Africa

Accelerating financing for green hydrogen projects in Africa

Forum calls for development finance institutions and their shareholders to support the African green hydrogen economy.

Two hundred representatives from African governments, renewable energy and green hydrogen project developers, development finance institutions (DFIs), bilateral partners, and civil society convened in Nouakchott, Mauritania on 13-14 April 2023 at the Africa Green Hydrogen Finance Accelerator Forum.

Green Hydrogen Organisation (GH2) is a non-profit foundation focused on dramatically accelerating the production and use of sustainable green hydrogen across a range of priority sectors globally. GH2 initiatives include the Green Hydrogen Standard; the Green Hydrogen Charter and country portal; the DFI Green Hydrogen Roundtable; Green Hydrogen Contracting – for People and Planet; the Planning for Climate Commission and the Campaign for 100 million tonnes of Green Hydrogen by 2030.

RTAM 2023: Future of green hydrogen in Africa is decided in Aix-en-Provence in May

 Industry leaders, research and innovation stakeholders, students and civil society representatives from around the world will gather in Aix-en-Provence, a university town in the south of France, for the Round Tables of Arbois and the Mediterranean (RTAM) from 3 to 4 May 2023. This 13th edition will focus on the future of the green hydrogen sector in Africa, where the development of the industry is accelerating.

Indeed, green hydrogen is becoming more and more talked about on the continent, especially in North and Southern Africa where governments are betting on this emerging industry for the energy transition and the decarbonisation of economies and transport. Morocco, for example, has already signed several partnerships with global investors and companies for the development of green hydrogen. The latest contract dates from February 2023 with Total Eren for a green hydrogen and ammonia project in the Guelmim-Oued Noun region. The subsidiary of French oil company TotalEnergies intends to invest 100 billion Moroccan dirhams (more than 9.4 billion euros) in the project.

Africa at the forefront of green hydrogen production; Egypt, which also has significant renewable energy potential, wants to invest $4 billion to support the development of green hydrogen over the next few years.     

Green hydrogen: Africa as a new hub

It is undeniable that green hydrogen shows strong potential on the continent, with several countries taking the lead due to the foresight and available opportunities. In the coming years, we are likely to witness a marked acceleration in the rollout of hydrogen projects and the concretization of decarbonisation plans. However, despite the winds setting the sails on a clear course in the coming years, many African nations have yet to live up to their potential and geographic resources.


RWE and Hyphen explore offtake of green ammonia from Namibia

From 2027, up to 300,000 tons of ammonia could be supplied annually RWE and Hyphen Hydrogen Energy (Hyphen) have signed a memorandum of understanding that could see RWE offtake up to 300,000 tons of green ammonia* per year from Namibia.

Hyphen was appointed preferred bidder by the Namibian government to develop the first green hydrogen project in Namibia for export. By 2027 the project aims to annually produce 1.7 million tons of green ammonia – a hydrogen derivative that is particularly suitable for transport by ship. German renewable energy project developer Enertrag is a joint venture partner of Hyphen.


Hyphen Hydrogen Energy announces ammonia offtake MoUs with Approtium and Industrial Group

Hyphen Hydrogen Energy (Hyphen) has signed non-binding Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with two major industrial companies with the aim of Hyphen providing them with up to 750,000 tonnes of green ammonia annually.

The agreements with a major chemical company and Approtium, a South Korean hydrogen producer, are targeting offtake of up to 500,000 tonnes and 250,000 tonnes a year respectively.

Morocco wants to export H2 to Europe

Morocco is considering partnering with Gautam Adani — Asia’s richest person — on a large-scale hydrogen project amid a renewable energy push to meet demand at home and in Europe.

Authorities are thinking of signing final investment decisions for “at least two competitive industrial projects” in 2023, Moroccan Energy Transition Minister Leila Benali told Bloomberg in an interview over the weekend. Benali cited Indian private conglomerate Adani Group as among the firms interested in the Moroccan hydrogen proposition, confirming a Bloomberg report in October.

Egypt signs seven more green H2 agreements

Egypt signed MoUs with seven companies and consortiums to begin conducting feasibility studies on new projects to set up facilities to produce green hydrogen and its derivatives, according to a cabinet statement. The statement does not provide further details on the potential investment size, production capacity, or timeline for any of the projects.

Who’s signing? Saudi renewables player Acwa Power; a consortium of Benchmark and the Holding Company for Chemical Industries; China Energy; Germany’s DAI; India’s Ocior Energy; BP; and a consortium of France’s Voltalia and Egypt’s Taqa Arabia.

There are plenty of familiar names there: French renewables company Voltalia has also been mulling new solar and wind energy investments since last year, while Acwa Power is planning a 1.1 GW wind farm in the Gulf of Suez with our friends at Hassan Allam.

Demand is high for Egypt’s green energy hub projects: The new MoUs come after Egypt signed agreements with 16 other companies and consortiums to establish green hydrogen and green ammonia projects, including nine framework agreements for projects that would, if implemented, bring in USD 83 bn of investments.

German funds Kenya renewables, H2 exports

The German government says it will provide Kenya with 112 million euros ($118 million) to help the East African nation close the gap to 100% renewable energy and produce hydrogen.

Kenya already gets about 90% of its electricity from renewable sources including hydropower, geothermal and wind. It aims to phase out entirely the use of fossil fuels for electricity generation by 2030.

Germany’s Development Ministry said Monday that 51 million euros will be earmarked for new energy infrastructure and hydrogen production, while about 30 million euros will be used for training programs. Efforts to make Kenya’s agriculture more resilient to drought will get a further 30 million euros and 1.5 million euros will be spent on anti-corruption programs.

Algeria to battle Morocco in supplying H2 to EU

Algeria is the latest country to join the hydrogen race as it has come up with a national hydrogen roadmap that will see the North African state produce blue and green hydrogen for export over the Mediterranean Sea towards Europe, but it will have to battle Morocco when it comes to close proximity trading and the short shipping costs, or lack thereof.

We are long past the question of why hydrogen and are already discussing about how fast. This was the undertone of the latest Reuters Hydrogen Conference in Amsterdam from where Rethink is reporting. The hydrogen industry is on the verge of an exponential ramp up and Europe is trying to secure a leading position.

Realizing North Africa’s green H2 potential

With the support of European investment, North Africa could become the world’s foremost producer of green hydrogen, capitalizing on vast swaths of uninhabited land, solar radiation intensity, offshore wind capacity, and existing pipeline networks. In October, Morocco hosted the Executive Vice President of the European Commission for the European Green Deal to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the establishment of a Green Partnership between the signatories. The Moroccan MoU preceded an agreement signed in November between the EU and Egypt creating a strategic partnership on green hydrogen.

IRENA calls on G7 to ramp-up a global green hydrogen market; makes key recommendation to leaders for their G7 Hydrogen Action Pact. 

Out of the 65 000 hydrogen patents filed globally between 2010 and 2020, G7 members accounted for 50 per cent with two-thirds coming from Japan. Of the G7 members, the European Union as a whole and Germany aim to become technology exporters, building on their industrial development. By the end of 2021, roughly half of all electrolyser manufacturers were in Europe.